Andrews University Gets 2 Gifts Worth Over $10 Million

The donations will go toward student scholarships and a new endowed chair.

Andrews University Gets 2 Gifts Worth Over $10 Million

Andrews University announced Thursday that it has received two major donations worth more than $10 million.

Douglas Benson, a retired physician and Andrews alumnus, has handed over 1,000 acres (405 hectares) of lakeside and woodland property that will be used to provide student scholarships, while Adventist Health System has given $2 million to endow a new academic chair.

“We are grateful for the generosity of these donors to advance the mission of Andrews University,” said David A. Faehner, vice president for university advancement.

The land is expected to generate $8 million to $12 million in proceeds from residential property development and its decades-old hardwood trees. Eighty percent of the income will support undergraduate students, while the rest will go to graduate students.

“This gift of land will not generate a lot of cash over the short term, but the long-term value of the hardwood trees and the residential development is considerable,” Faehner said in an e-mail to faculty.

The property consists of residential lots on Lake Chapin, 500 acres of hardwood trees, and fields and forestland, some of which will be used by Andrews’ agriculture program.

Benson, who graduated with an undergraduate degree from Andrews in 1954 and lives near the university in Berrien Springs, Michigan, has contributed to the university before. In 2002, he donated a collection of antique furniture, including a French-made, eight-piece bedroom set, an antique piano, tapestries, and vases with the goal of inspiring everyday life on the campus.

He graduated as a physician from Loma Linda University.

Meanwhile, the $2 million gift from Adventist Health System, which is based in Altamonte Springs, Florida, and operates 45 hospitals in 10 states, will be used to establish a chair for health-care administration at its School of Business Administration.

Faehner said the endowment aimed to strengthen ties between Adventist education and Adventist health care.

“In response to this gift, the School of Business Administration is committed to offering courses to their students that orient them to health care administration and will maintain a working relationship with Adventist Health System for the purpose of providing business students with internship opportunities in the AHS corporate office or in one of its divisions,” he said.

Adventist universities have received several significant gifts in recent months. Washington Adventist University announced a $1 million gift to build a planned Health Professions, Science and Wellness Center on Jan. 21.

Last year, Pacific Union College announced a record $2.4 million gift in June, while Southwestern Adventist University received $500,000 in September. The largest single donation in the history of Adventist education was unveiled in July, when Loma Linda University announced a $100 million gift and said the funds would be used to launch a $1.2 billion initiative to create a healthier world.